My research proposes to investigate the causes for the recent increase in the rates of postpartum hemorrhage (bleeding after birth) that have been observed in Canada. Approximately 14,500 Canadian women experience atonic postpartum hemorrhage each year. Rates of postpartum hemorrhage in Canada have increased by 34 percent between 1991 and 2004. We have not been able to identify the causes to date.
What do you hope to accomplish with your research?
I hope that the knowledge gained from my studies will be used to reduce the frequency of postpartum hemorrhage, prevent complications and improve maternal health.
What has winning a major award meant to you?
Winning the Vanier Scholarship came at a crucial time for me. I had recently given birth to my daughter and was feeling a bit uncertain about how I was going to be able to cope with motherhood and my studies. When I found out I was a Vanier Scholarship recipient, it was just the encouragement I needed to keep moving forward with my research. Feeling like people believe in me and my project has given me renewed enthusiasm in the pursuit of my degree.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
The best surprise about graduate school has been the lasting friendships I've made. It's strange to think that I've made some of my closest friends this late in life; but when you really think about it, when you're admitted into a program with a small number of like-minded people, there's bound to be a few life-long besties lurking around.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I chose to study at UBC because I want to be part of a rich academic environment during my doctoral training. The School of Population and Public Health (at UBC) offers a vibrant interdisciplinary environment and a thriving community of researchers working on maternal health issues that enrich the quality of my studies and my doctoral work.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Crucially, make sure that you choose a supervisor that inspires you and appreciates your individual perspective. Also, seek out peers that will help to push you to work your hardest. Students are led to believe that graduate school is all about independence and self-motivation. While individual curiosity and personal drive are critical, for me, graduate school has been shaped by the group of researchers and the community around me. If you have a supportive team, you will succeed, and you will have fun doing it.